Setting Up A New Home Is A Lot Of Work

Escrow has closed, We’ve moved the “stuff” we brought with us into the new home, and have 2 of the cars here. (2 others are “in the shop” as that was easier than doing the 2 car shuffle and they needed it ;-) Today I get to bring them home, too. Somehow…

One is about 42 miles away, the other more like 65. Due to a sporadic vertigo issue, the spouse is not happy with driving more than about 30 miles in a day… So I need to figure out how to Get ‘er Done on that. (Florida Friend is at the boat about 200 miles away, but perhaps an option later in the week).

We are now completely out of the temporary “Vacation Cottage” (i.e. dinky mobile home).

Moving in was an exercise in “What you don’t have but need or want”.

There’s a surprising amount of stuff you need or want to make a house “go”. We have a new $1700 recliner for the spouse ( it makes all the arthritic joints happy and she can sleep in it in “Zero Gravity” position until the beds get here). I’m sleeping on a Twin Size Serta Air Mattress about 2 feet high… that slowly leaks down to about 1 foot; 2 or 3 times a night and requests that I turn on the “Fill it up” pump. Which is OK I guess as I can usually use a run to the Little Room anyway.

Beds are ordered and supposedly arrive this week, or maybe next… The couch & love seat are back ordered into next December (something about motors from China for the built in recliners…)

I’ve bought Yet Another Cast Iron Frying Pan. These last a lifetime. I have 3 in storage in California… OTOH, they are cheap and durable, so there’s that. Also bought a few folding tray tables ($10 for small $14 for big at Walmart) and a folding card table along with some plastic lawn chairs for a “dining set”… Figure about $200 for the lot. I have a good set of pots and pans, along with slow cooker and electric skillet that I either brought with me or had in storage here (with F.F.). Also we’re using the Deluxe Disney silverware and plates that were mostly to be decorative / special occasions. (2 sets of Corelle from prior episodes of contract work “life on the road” and our set of Daily China in storage in California… so we’ll have “only” 4 sets of dishes when it all gets here… along with 2 other sets of silverware…)

Oh, and then there’s the cheap plastic food flipper, giant spoon, straining spoon, etc. from Walmart. 97 ¢ each. Eventually to be replaced with the good stuff that is, yes, in storage in Kalifornia… We’ve got a few blankets that came with the stuff I’d packed into the cars as padding, but bought a new set of towels. The list goes on.

So essentially I’ve been buying cheap temporary versions of things we need now for daily life, but have good ones in storage; or buying good ones if we have lousy ones in storage (or threw them out in Santa Clara like our old ratty towels, couch, beds…)

We got the electricity, garbage, and water swapped over to our name. Now we need to work out a better internet system. Presently on a T-Mobile network based Hot Spot but with the TV Unpacked and no longer on RV Park Basic Cable, running about $50 / week worth of “MB”. Spectrum sent us a flyer for $40 unlimited but didn’t bother to say if it was cable, wireless, or wired based. (I think they do cable?). Frontier is the prior provider to the house.

Any suggestions / horror stories about either Spectrum or Frontier appreciated as I’m basically clueless about both of them.

Oh, and I need to swap my medical plan from Kaiser (who are not in this service area) to something that is here. I’m “Medicare Advantage” or Plus or something. The one that gives you parts B & C. F.F. is not happy with Advantage Healthcare as they screwed up his medical records when they bought his regular provider; so they are not at the top of my list.

Oh, and we got car insurance swapped to Florida and all that car / license administrivia done.

I’ve also put about $800 of “prep” into the pantry and garden supplies. Including 2 big bags of 10-10-10 fertilizer and a small selection of seeds (just the basics).

I’m generally ready to get started on setting out some roots and similar things started from grocery store buys. Sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, manioc, etc. Most of these don’t look like edibles if you are not into gardening. Just some decorative leafy thing. Sweet Potatoes are in the Morning Glory family and just look like climbing morning glory vines / flowers, but the greens are edible along with the tubers. I’m looking to do a lot of that kind of plant. Things that do not shout “Food Garden” but instead look like landscaping. Runner Beans make big beautiful red and white flowers and don’t look like regular green beans, but the beans and leaves are also edibles. You get the idea. But doing that on about 300 foot of fence is going to take some time and work.

There’s a surprising amount of work to get through just to, essentially, camp in a new home until you get your stored stuff in place. More when you decide to do some landscaping too…

But at this point, this IS now our Home. No longer split between the Vacation Rental and here so no longer feeling “spread all over”. No longer divorced from dirt, so can literally start to put down roots. At this point, even while waiting for furniture to arrive, this is now Home. Just needs some decorating and furnishing…

And the “Stuff” in storage? Well, I do want to get it here, but it isn’t critical. Mostly things like some antique furniture we didn’t really use, some old computers I’d like to play with or have for nostalgia (my first Mac ;-), and a whole lot of books. (Every Star Trek book for about 20 years… for example). And some kitchen stuff we don’t really need, like my Kitchen Aid mixer and an electric wok. Want, yes. Need to have meals this week? Uh, no. Oh, and some tool boxes I really do want to get here, ’cause doing things like hanging pictures and tuning up cars is difficult with the $20 “Home Tools” assortment from Walmart… (Wrenches? Who needs wrenches, here, have a channel lock pliers instead… 8-(

So getting the stuff here is still an issue. But not an urgent one.

I’ve got a guy mowing the lawns. “Someday” I might make that a DIY thing. OTOH, at about $100 / month it takes a Looong time to make a $5000 lawn mower cost effective. When did everyone go to riding mowers and when did they become $4k to $8k things?

But that can wait.

At this point I’m pretty well set for “survival mode”, but would be happier with “settled in and just cruising” mode ;-) I think I’ll get there in about 2 months. Call it end of September.

The Big Question:

Will the world blow up before November? (When will gas become hard to get…)

The WEFies have decided to move on from Pandemic (since Monkey Pox / Schlong Pox is a dud) to Destruction Of Agriculture. We’ve got farmers Heavily Protesting in places as diverse as: Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Panama, Ecuador, maybe Canada and several other Latin American places (and some other Africa to Indian ocean / Pacific Islands) as they are all on the road to Sri Lanka type collapse of food supply. Food is essentially fertilizer and Diesel repackaged by plants. The WEF / UN / Agenda 2030 want to eliminate Diesel & fertilizer. Think about it…

Russia is very carefully keeping the EU on Natural Gas & Oil Life Support. Just enough to get through the summer. At this point, the “winter storage” is essentially empty. Even with normal supplies Germany can not get through winter without the stored gas. Germany is already Dead Man Walking.

So what’s likely to happen?

I see it as one of 2 ways:

1) The EU gives up on Ukraine and tosses in the towel. Says “Russia, it is yours. Sanctions are gone. Just send oil & gas.” Also tells the WEF to bugger off on fertilizer restrictions.

2) The EU continues to be America’s Bitch and insists on lots more WEF limits, support for Ukraine, and fertilizer bans.

I don’t expect #1 to happen. Even if it does, getting through winter without massive gas supplies (like running both N. Stream 1 & 2 full open) will be hard and some industries will shut down when it’s really cold.

I think it will be #2, as the polices will not change until the people in charge are changed, and they are not leaving right now.

In a #2 scenario, this is what I think happens:

a) No / limited gas and oil means Germany shuts down. Essentially all but minimal industry comes to a halt. Folks are trying desperately to find food and warmth. Chaos in the EU is the least we can expect. Perhaps a lot worse.

b) Lack of natural gas means you can’t run fertilizer plants. Having banned Russian fertilizer, and unable to make their own, along with the WEF insisting you ought to not be “allowed” to use it anyway, means massive crop failures across Europe and anywhere dependent on them for products (like parts of Africa / Middle East). Expect food riots next Spring when harvests from this planting season are supposed to come in, but will be too small and sparse to feed folks.

c) As German Industry halts, so does German Subsidy Cash to the Southern Nations. Italy (already with farmers near riot), Greece, Spain, Portugal, etc. all see the wisdom in bolting for the door and abandoning EU Mandates (such as the ban on Russian gas, oil, and fertilizer…). France, with a lot of private farms, listens to their farmers too, and exits the EU Stage Right. The Eastern Block, no longer seeing the benefit of EU membership when it is just them, and a shut down Germany, as sort of it, also bolt and the EU Collapses. (Note this is the worst case, it is possible that Russia might let enough gas flow to keep Germany alive, barely…)

d) The USA will try to keep everything looking great until the November elections are over. We don’t have a SHTF moment until next Winter / Spring (and that depends on how obviously stolen the mid-terms are.) IFF the election is clean, Republicans sweep the house, senate and governors, then we get back on the road to recovery and peace. However, if the Dims succeed in another steal, it will be obvious to all that we, the voter, no longer matter. A Coup and Insurrection by the Democrats installed Bidet and is keeping him POTUSino, with China buying the results it wants. All the Millions of folks who are just waiting to see the results, are done waiting.

e) In the case where WEF / China / UN are continuing to poison the USA Government: The States will start to break up the union. Florida & Texas will Just Say No, to Fed mandates on crap. (Texas will say “Heeeall No!” with spurs on…) Much of the South & Midwest will align against the “Coastal Elites” in the Bos-Wash corridor and Kalifornia / Oregon / Washington State. It will be interesting to see how the Blue Blobs deal with no food or fuel from the Red States.

At that point I’ve pushed the crystal ball as far as I can. Does it go to Civil War II or do we break up into 2 nations? No idea. IF the Republicans get a congressional mandate can / will they recover the USA enough to heal? Maybe, maybe not. We’ll have to check in at the time of the elections.

Between now than then is all Prep Time. Store enough of what you need to make it through at least 6 months (a year would be better). Have at least a small stand by generator / source of electricity. Keep the car tanks full. Be prepared to defend against the unprepared, and get to know your neighbors.

The UK has made the excellent step of getting out of the EU before this all blows up. Folks in the UK ought to be OK; modulo the need to get some new non-WEF rules and trading relationships in place in time.

The EU is, IMHO, already Dead Man Walking. Fuel is already too short to make it through this winter. Folks are mostly NOT preparing as they don’t do a 6 months / 1 year “look ahead” at things like food and fuel. With fertilizer supplies shutting down in the EU, next crop is already a dud (but folks will be living off of last harvest so won’t notice until too late). Folks who are cold, starving, and in the dark ( did I mention no gas for electricity generation?…) will riot. It will make the present Farmers Protest look like an Easter Parade. I have no idea how to prep in a European City. It will not go well.

So that’s my take on things as of now.

I figure I have about 3 more months to “get it all done” on moving my stuff, finishing my full prep, getting the garden into a productive mode, Plus+ Up the generator / fuel storage, and generally prepare for What May Come. All while hoping for a nice return to the Old Normal in November. I’m going to try to be done in less than 2.

But as usual in war: No battle plan long survives contact with the enemy. I can only hope it is the Chinese / WEF / UN plan that hits the rocks and not mine / RNC / American Patriots / Farmers Globally / the rest of us.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Emergency Preparation and Risks, Human Interest, Political Current Events. Bookmark the permalink.

82 Responses to Setting Up A New Home Is A Lot Of Work

  1. p.g.sharrow says:

    As to moving your stuff I have 1 maybe two class 1 drivers We can work with One has done what you need before. He moved a friend from Paradise to east coast. A whole house move that required us to PACK a high cube U-haul almost solid to get nearly everything inside it 8-).
    Shalll I see if they will work with you ?

  2. Ossqss says:

    RE: net service.

    Check packages with Spectrum. They have no contract and can package phones as part there of @30 a month (total, including taxes) unlimited everything.

    I believe Frontier will be a 2-year commitment. My neighbor bounces between them to get the incentive to move packages and it works well since they both have service to the house.

    They will all put the screws to you regardless.

    Good luck.

    Where did you move now that your 200 miles from the boat?

    You can get a decent mower for around $2k. You can also pay more too for something fancy and big.

  3. John Hultquist says:

    Good work on all the house and moving stuff.

    I need to save this post and check it next August. If even the least of the issues materialize the world will be hurting. The worst case was unthinkable 30 years ago. Holy schist!

    Today is primary voting in Washington State. All elections are by mail, or ballots can be returned in drop off boxes. 8 states have this – other voting options are available if desired. This started in stages, with military folks first, many years ago. Fully implemented in 2012. The person that oversaw this, Kim Wyman, a Republican, has gone on to the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. She warned other states that they could not do similar in a couple of months or even years. Overall, I think WA’s path took about 40 years.

  4. YMMV says:

    “Does it go to Civil War II or do we break up into 2 nations?”

    The answer to this question (other than wait and see) is “where do you draw the line between those two nations?”. There are maps with the red and blue population dots. Which make it clear that the most obvious divide is metro/rural. This is not the preferred answer. A war like that is not civil and probably would not even be categorized as a war.

    The way to avoid that is to break up into 50 states. Not really, but to break up the power of the federal swamp would be a great start.

    * * *

    In other news. By the time a potential trouble spot is in the news, it’s too late.

    Why do the Balkan states always keep popping up?
    “In addition to the conflict in Ukraine, Europe is now faced with the prospect of renewed conflict in Kosovo, Serbia’s breakaway province (officially named Kosovo and Metohija according to the Serbian constitution).”
    “The only thing that is, unfortunately, difficult to imagine, is the US and the EU actually doing something to fundamentally contribute to a peaceful resolution to this crisis.”

    Not to mention that Kosovo is home to a large NATO military base, and that NATO has issued an official statement citing its interest in “intervening” in Kosovo, if need be. How convenient.

    It’s probably also just a total accident that Serbia just happens to refuse to back down in its support for Russia, seeks increased trade with Iran, and military cooperation with Russia-allied Belarus. And that its Interior Minister, Aleksandar Vulin, said just last week that it wouldn’t join sanctions against Russia over Ukraine, and won’t be NATO’s “foot soldier” against Russia. Or that NATO, in the late 90s, under the “moral” leadership of then-US President Bill Clinton, carved out the Serbian province of Kosovo on “humanitarian” grounds, and has been using it as a tool to dial up or down pressure on Serbia (and, to some degree, its friends in Moscow) ever since.

    But if it can’t possibly all be the result of chance, then a Western blueprint for regime change becomes a plausible explanation.

    That blueprint involves the creation of a proxy state and/or fighters whom Western officials sell to the public as victims of the “regime” in question — that is, the geopolitical rival that the West has in its crosshairs.

  5. p.g.sharrow says:

    “She warned other states that they could not do similar in a couple of months or even years.”

    LOL are you sure Kim is not a R.I.N.O. ” She works in the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

    Back in the 1970s, I was a Democratic operative in Alaska and absentee ballots was our favorite point of vote count manipulation. In those days everything in Alaska was basically run out of Seattle. They taught California how it was done and made that middle of the road state solidly “Vote” Democratic. Oregon soon followed.
    If you want a fair and honest election then in person voting ONLY , hand counting and tabulation on paper only with both parties as poll watchers to keep each other honest. That cry that in person voting will Defranchise Military is BS Their vote is never actually counted anyway unless it is needed for the democrats to fudge the count. then they, like dead people overwhelming vote Democratic..

  6. p.g.sharrow says:

    @YMMV; Why don’t you show some class and post your comments in the right posting instead of shotgunning them where ever is handy????

  7. jim2 says:

    I have a deep stainless frying pan that’s become my go-to. You can use all the detergent you want to clean it and the chain mail as well.

  8. p.g.sharrow says:

    My wife has one of those! It has an ugly waffle ridged inside that nothing seems to stick to. 8-)

  9. cdquarles says:

    I am on a cable internet plan with Spectrum. They did maintenance recently and now my $75 per month unlimited plan gives me 300+Mbps maximum download speed. The upload speed is still 10Mbps. That works for us. For $20 more, I can up that to 500Mbps max. They have a 1Gig plan for $120 per month, taxes included. I could add TV (why? there’s nothing much there worth the money) or mobile phone (again why? Their service isn’t better than my current Tracfone via Walmart service). There are other providers here, so there is competition, though if you want cable TV, you’ll have to deal with Spectrum.

  10. philjourdan says:

    MOther (when with us) did not like Spectrum, but she lived in the Villages (not too far from you). Other than that, I am not familiar with either.

    As for Politics, the fake news is saying Biden is having a good week. How? By breaking another campaign promise big time! And getting caught in a bald faced lie (taxes on middle class, and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan).

    THe tax increase if passed will doom the democrats in 24 (none of the tax will be felt before mid terms). But inflation is hurting them now. And JOb Openings just took a massive hit! So the recession that cannot be named is about to become even more apparent. Once you stop advertising for filling positions, you start laying off existing. I have no clue why the democrats do not realize that employment is a LAGGING indicator of a recession. Guess they are still stuck on stupid.

  11. Paul, Somerset says:

    The EU has not banned the import of fertilizers from Russia (Russia itself has restricted its exports, but that is a different matter).
    Item 5:

    Click to access faqs-sanctions-russia-agriculture_en.pdf

    The UK’s departure from the EU hasn’t really made any practical difference when it comes to energy security. It’s a strange situation, whereby we lead Europe in terms of liquefied natural gas terminals, meaning that we’re currently importing vast quantities of it. The problem is that we closed down most of our gas storage facilities, so that imported gas is currently being pumped to the Continent, where they do have storage. And the UK is doing very nicely out of the arbitrage between the import price to our LNG terminals and the export price to the Continent.
    But you can see the problem here. We closed our storage sites, because they are expensive to run, and it was always assumed that we could import gas from the Continental storage sites in winter. Strictly speaking, we should be able to outbid Continental competitors for gas during the winter, because of the money we’ve made selling it to them in the first place. But that is relying on governments not banning exports this winter.
    So, we’re still as dependent on the Continent for energy as when we were in the EU.
    There is a giant cavern for storing gas under the North Sea (the Rough storage facility), which has been granted a licence to be re-opened, but that would cost £500 million, and in purely economic terms that currently doesn’t make sense. But in terms of security, well ..
    It’s August now. If it is going to be re-opened, and be filled, thus starving the Continent of imports from UK LNG terminals, the politicians really need to make a decision fast.
    Still waiting …

  12. u.k.(us) says:

    Invest in Seagram’s 7 Crown Whiskey, my local outlet can’t keep it on the shelves :)

  13. H.R. says:

    E.M. – I bought a $429 22″ self-propelled mulching mower this year. I had one like it that I was going to rebuild, but the 6 – 7 parts I needed cost more than the new mower!

    The old mower runs and cuts fine, so I’ll either save it for the gas motor or donate it to someone who needs it. It just can’t take the hills on my lot anymore without the replacement parts.

    I did have a 30″ commercial mower., about the smallest you can buy. When I tore up my shoulder, I gave it to my nephew who bought a house on about 3/4? of an acre. I also had a riding mower. Then I bought the smaller self-propelled mulching mower just for the walking to keep my blood sugar down. It’s cheaper than a Peloton, eh?

    It takes me about 45 – 50 minutes to mow our lot (because of the hills and obstacles) and the small mowers cut much nicer than the big mowers. And a lot of the big mowers don’t mulch very well.

    Plus! The small mower uses far less gas than the old riding mower and the commercial mower I used to have. Having a gas sipper could be a consideration.

    The time savings of the big mowers was maybe only 15 minutes. My big mowers required backing and maneuvering for the hills, flower beds, and trees so the wider cut didn’t save that much time.

    I saw, but didn’t want a 30″ walk-behind mower at Home Depot for about $1,800? (can’t recall). That’s a good option for a nice blend of time/gas/cost/cut quality.

    So, you have a lot of options and considerations besides shelling out $4,000 – $6,000 for a mower.

  14. Foyle says:

    Good thing you are not a pessimist E.M.

    Electric push mowers are IMO better than gas now, cheaper, lighter, and the ride on EVs are cheaper too without cost, complexity and unreliability of all the IC transmission elements. PV power if you want to get off grid with them.

    Coal and oil are obvious short-term fixes in Europe if gas is short. There are a lot of standby generator sets around the place (most supermarkets, hospitals, and larger organisations of all sorts), but can diesel supplies hold up? UK has decades-centuries worth of untapped shale gas – but a political unwillingness to develop them (that may be abandoned in a harsh winter).

    The middle east can set up fertiliser production, though it will take a year or two.

    I imagine there is a big rush on behind the scenes to find ways of moving natural gas to Europe to take advantage of the tremendous opportunity for arbitrage presented. Heck you could do it with refrigerated containers if you improvised a liner in them and ran them at atmospheric pressure (vent gas), they can each hold about $10k worth of gas at current European prices and would cost only $2-3k to fill in Middle east. Would need about 50,000 such LNG containers a day to replace Russia. You could probably retrofit massive unpressurised cryo tanks on a barge in a month or two. The commercial/political world has had 6 months warning of this crisis, surely they have figured out a few fixes?

    No way that the current powers that be in Federal govt will ever allow secession given their Orwellian behaviour, and given Chinese hegemonic ambitions it would probably be a bad idea for Americans (and world). I think the tide is turning against Democratic destruction. Maybe the problems of the last decade can be repaired at the ballot box..

  15. H.R. says:

    Foyle: “Maybe the problems of the last decade can be repaired at the ballot box..

    That’s what many, many people are waiting to see, if all this can be repaired at the ballot box.

    If the Dems have been successful at cementing their hold on the ballot boxes, then they will hold onto power and fish the job of finishing off America.

    There should be a ‘Red Tsunami’ this November where all but the staunchest Blue districts turn Red. And some Dems are so fed up that there will be some Blue districts that turn Red (Red = Republican and Blue = Democrat).

    The steal is being set up with ‘push’ polls right now that are showing Dems are closer to Republicans and the vote gap is narrower than it actually is. (The polls are a sham.) Then, via cheating, when a Dem squeaks out a win it will be pointed out that it was a close race so, no cheating. Yeah, right.

    But people are fed up and worried about inflation, jobs, fuel prices, keeping their houses, and the economy in general. There will be a ‘Red Tsunami’ in November. If the Dems retain power via steals at the ballot box, then many people will have to figure out and work towards one of the other solutions because it will be clear that things can’t be fixed by the ballot box.

    That’s why you see talk about options but no action on those options… yet.

  16. jim2 says:

    Kansas, a state that tends to vote for Republican Presidents, voted to keep abortion access in their constitution. I have an uneasy feeling Republicans shouldn’t be too sure of any red wave.

  17. jim2 says:

    RE: UK to continent gas:

    Dust and mud is clogging the filters on a key pipeline sending natural gas from the UK to Europe, slowing down flows as the winter crunch time approaches.

    The operator of the link between Britain and Belgium has removed large amounts of dust and pieces of debris as well as thick liquid this year from the filters that the gas passes through, according to a document posted online. Flows of gas have been reduced and even halted because of these blockages 24 times so far in 2022, while typically filter changes are needed only twice a year.

    On top of that, the European heatwave it making it difficult for France to cool nuclear reactors due to the higher temperature of river water. It is cutting into electricity production.

  18. E.M.Smith says:


    I’m assuming a “high Cube” is something like an 18 wheeler? Not just the regular 26 foot box…?

    I’d say give it an early “taking the temperature” contact. I have 2 storage units. One is about 10 ft x 10 ft x 6 high. The other is 10 x 20 x 7 or so high (on average). Almost all of it is in boxes (1.5 cu ft for most, 2 or 3 for some) plus table, chairs, one smallish household fridge, a “sideboard” about 6 or 8 feet long and a couple of smaller light dressers. No couches, beds, etc.

    There’s maybe 4 book cases (4 x 6 x 1 ) of books I need to box up, and about another 1/2 dozen holding boxes. Oh, and I have most of the boxes on Gorilla Racks. 4 or 5 of them I think.

    If he’s thinking over $20k, that’s a nope. If it’s more like 10K for truck and driver with me loading too, that could work. Those are just spitballs so include no clue on things like fuel and backhaul and such. Cluefulness cheerfully accepted!

    BTW: I opened the door to “Political disruption” comments in this thread with my talking about expectations in Europe; so YMMV was “in line” with posting about Kosovo here. This thread is both about my new home, and international instabilities / planning / prepping for them.

    @H.R.: Per mower:

    Thanks for the ideas! I’m all level and flat. My only concern is trying to mow in 90F with 100% humidity… Just walking around some times can be a bit of effort…

    I’ll likely keep paying the neighbor until I find some kind of minimal riding mower for sale used… i.e. after all my California stuff is here.


    There’s a meme that goes something like;

    ~”There are three boxes that are used to solve political problems / government problems. They are used in order. If the first one fails, then the second. Etc. Soap Box, Ballot Box, Ammo Box.”

    A whole lot of folks are going to be watching very very closely to see if the Ballot Box has now been removed as a pathway. (They have already removed the Soap Box via Tech Censorship / cancel culture…)

    Now I don’t know how valid is the assertion in that meme… but I do know a lot of people are talking about a post ballot box corruption alternative… (Personally, I’d really really rather not “go there”. I want to be fishing in the Atlantic ;-) But time will tell what happens. I’ll be prepping for a good long “Hunker Down” if things go sideways.

    @Per Spectrum:

    I’m going to give their 1 month free trial a trial ;-)

    @U.K. (U.S.):

    It’s a great idea! But… Last time I tried that I had a great deal of “shrinkage” in my inventory 8-0…


    Interesting about the filters. One wonders what it is / why?

    @per Steel Pans:

    I have a very nice huge Chef’s Pan. Somewhere around 12″ to 14″ with lid. I often used it to make things like Italian Pasta with vegetables in it, or Stir Fried rice from leftovers for a bunch of friends. It is still in California… You could make a huge load of food in it, enough to serve 1/2 dozen hungry folks and have some leftovers. I miss that pan… but it will be home soon enough…

    @Per UK Gas:

    Interesting to know. I suppose shortages and cold will “clarify the mind” on things like storing gas in the EU vs at home…

    Putting improvised LGN tanks on boats is only part of the problem… the other parts are loading them somewhere and unloading them in the UK. It is my understanding that we’re loading / unloading limited at the moment, and that’s for the already extant giant tanker fleet that doesn’t need many tank to tank movements of the loading / unloading gear… But I could be wrong on that.

    IMHO, largely due to Government / Rules inertia: There can be no improvised solution and no planned organized solution in under 2 years. Once your society is Rule Bound, you just can’t fix things without passage through the Rule Making Bodies, and Permits, and Inspections… and that takes years and $millions.

    But maybe some gas fields that were shut-in still have legacy permits on file and can just have a “refurbishment”…

    I guess that “store it on the continent” and filters issues means:

    You have 3 months to prepare for a long cold winter with vastly insufficient fuel. Use it wisely.

  19. E.M.Smith says:


    The 200 miles is a guess.

    I’m near Winter Haven / Auburndale (sort of). Semi-Rural so not near any major highway but close enough to reach any of 92, 17, 98, I-4, 27 etc. without too much trouble, and can reach anywhere from Tampa to Orlando in about 30 to 45 minutes.

    Spouse insisted on being able to reach Disney in 1/2 hour …. So 27 to 192 to Animal Kingdom entrance does OK. I-4 entrance would be OK too… if only I-4 moved ;-)

  20. H.R. says:

    @E.M. – Our first stay in Florida in our travel trailer was in Winterhaven. We liked that town a lot.

    There’s a seafood restaurant there that is the best I’ve ever come across for freshness, great prices, and the rare catches that you don’t see on other seafood menus.

    I think it’s called Phillips Old Place. Well, t’s ‘Somebody’s’ Old Place for sure if I got the name wrong.

    It’s worth the trip and will be a regular in your rotation of restaurants if you eat there once.

    There was also a little bistro in a strip mall next to the campground. It had a Burger King in the front lot.

    Nothing special about the place except for one offering. They have prime rib, but they sear it on the open flame grill before serving. It makes all the difference. It’s way better than the usual prime rib offerings. Yum!

  21. John Hultquist says:

    I’d like a powerful electric riding mower but even the low-end ones are expensive.
    I always wear quality hearing protection when mowing, whether using the rider (17hp) or the push mower. I’ve found that mowing for an hour without hearing protection ruins much of the rest of the day.

  22. Ossqss says:

    @HR, Harry’s Old Place?

  23. YMMV says:

    “Does it go to Civil War II or do we break up into 2 nations?”

    As I was saying….
    There are lots of red/blue graphics. Only the most oversimplified show any way (possible or not) to divide the US into two nations.

    Here is one graphic analysis of the 2016 election. worth a quick glance at the graphics.

    Here is another, even more psychedelic set of graphics.

    But this is the one to take seriously:
    NOTE: click on either show land circles or show population circles.
    “Color by Margin” is also interesting.

    by land: red 74%, blue 26%
    by population: red red 39%, blue 61%

    Two nations is out and Civil War II is M.A.D.

    There are other civil wars worth reviewing. Ireland. The breakup of India.
    Nobody sane wants to “go there”.

  24. H.R. says:

    @Ossqss – That’s it. Harry’s Old Place. Thanks!

    No reservations taken, dinner only. The line starts forming outside about 15 minutes before they open.

    That’s where I got Cobia twice and Monkfish once. My ay all-time favorite fish is Monkfish, but Cobia comes in second only a whisker behind. Harry’s only had Monkfish on that one visit.

    Both of those fish are hard to come by in restaurants.

  25. H.R. says:

    E.M.: “I’ve bought Yet Another Cast Iron Frying Pan. These last a lifetime.”

    Not when shot several times with a .45-70. That’s the end of their life. Fini. Kaput. Pining for the fjords.

    Don’t ask me how I know. Let’s just say we were out of tin cans for plinking and mom always said she wanted an electric skillet.

    P.S. Be sure to buy the electric skillet first if you want to eat… and live. 😉

  26. E.M.Smith says:


    So…. Ought I say “These last a lifetime, on average”? (Since some go through a few generations and then there are the high velocity impactor outliers… ;-0

  27. E.M.Smith says:


    Yes, THE central issue is that Rural Folks are required to be self reliant on many things (Police? When you are 1/2 hour from the nearest police of any kind, and that’s 2 guys and 1 car?…) and reality focused (One never asks a cow her pronouns, nor does one consider eating the bugs that the chickens prefer for making those most tasty free range eggs… after all, stealing food from a chicken is pretty low…)

    While in cities, you will die if the police don’t keep the homeless and crazies under control, must get your EBT card to eat, have heat / AC / light / water etc. etc. all provided by others and without your doing anything but paying the bill and demanding the “politicians” prevent gouging (at least, not unless the bribo given is big enoug…) so DEMAND “social” services and “controls”…

    It is an existential divide between urban and rural. (Thus some of the founders saying our form of government is only suited to a rural Christian moral people… I fear they are right and that we are increasingly an Urban amoral / immoral unreligious people…)

    So the divide would be most simply achieved by making one country of rural counties and another country of urban counties. Though as a first step we might just separate out the “mostly rural” States from the “mostly urban” ones. Say: Expel LA to SF in California into one State (add in Las Vegas to it), and put all the rural counties into another State along with the Rump Nevada and Oregon ex-Portland. Toss Portland into Coastal Washington along with Seattle, and move the rest of Oregon and Washington outside of Seattle into Idaho… (repeat until done across the USA. Some places, like Chicago and Urban counties around it, can become a single Urban State, while the rump Illinois can join with rural Indiana as a State. Places like New Jersey may be too much all one thing to be worth the dividing effort. Others, like Texas, may just need to expel a few cities (Austin…) to become their best.

  28. RalphB says:

    When is the housewarming party? Dozens of scantily clad maidens, top shelve whiskey, beer by the barrel…consider me RSVP’d :-)

  29. The True Nolan says:

    @E.M. “Ought I say “These last a lifetime, on average”? (Since some go through a few generations and then there are the high velocity impactor outliers… ;-0”

    My wife regularly uses a cast iron griddle handed down from my great grandmother. It rode in the wagon when she and the family headed EAST (yep, not west) from Oklahoma sometime around 1880ish. With a little luck it will go to one of the grandkids. That would make six generations.

  30. philjourdan says:

    @Foyle – or do what I did. Mulch in half the yard so you have less grass to cut! Mulch is free here at the dump (just do not put it next to your house as it has not been treated) I am on a 1/2 acre. 1/2 of which is mulched! SO I burn little gas mowing the lawn! And I will not get an electric.

  31. philjourdan says:

    @YMMV et. al.

    “Does it go to Civil War II or do we break up into 2 nations?”

    As I was saying….
    There are lots of red/blue graphics. Only the most oversimplified show any way (possible or not) to divide the US into two nations

    No , there is a nation and a woke nation. The woke nation can kill an unarmed civilian since they are unarmed. The Nation can kill a woke idiot with ease.

    It is coming to that. But the left is doomed unless they use The Biden connection. Because those idiots can only kill defenseless individuals.

    But the sell out bidens will protect you with the Chinese military.

  32. philjourdan says:

    @RalphB – Uh, that is me! He is just channeling me!

  33. H.R. says:

    @philj re Chinese military defending woke Americans:

    A. Nahhh… the Chinese would probably shoot them first because they don’t tolerate woke and they don’t tolerate idiots

    2) The Chinese have been paying d@mn good money to our politicians to get the military secrets that their spies can’t get. They have also been paying to undermine our military.

    iii) I would have never thought it, but if Zho Baiden and the Dem(on)s succeed in disarming us and trashing and crashing everything, not to mention starving and freezing millions to death, there’s no reason for the Chinese not to just float their little boats up to our shores and march right in… escorted by the remaining lefty useful idiots down a welcoming red carpet.

    That is if the WEF GEBs don’t get here first with the UN troops. It will be a race condition.

    4) Russia has been playing the long game with the march through the institutions, but Putin is too busy trying to put the old band back together. The Chinese say, “Thank you very much, Vlad” as they steal a march on Russia, who put in all the hard work turning the US into a Socialist Paradise.

    ALL of the GEBs of every nationality and stripe (WEF, IMF, Deep State, Soros, Xi, Putin, Iran, the whole lot of them) must have the hardworking, solid, salt of the Earth American middle class disarmed and destroyed. They all know that they aren’t going to get anywhere with their Grand Designs until we are ground to dust.

    Thus the cutting off of food, fuel, and soon enough electricity and water and the rounding up and incarceration (or elimination) of Domestic Terrorists. Terrorists like Bob down the street who works as an accountant, plays golf on weekends, goes to church most Sundays and always on Easter and Christmas, but… he voted for Trump.

  34. u.k.(us) says:

    Predator or prey ??

    The Florida panther is the only known breeding population of mountain lions in the United States east of the Mississippi River.

    And then the alligators, you got an armored car ?? :)

  35. YMMV says:

    But what comes before the shooting starts?
    I can’t predict the future, but if the past is any indication…
    Demonstrations, sometimes turning ugly. That could be against counter-demonstrators while the police stand down. Or it could be against the police.
    Riots. The usual looting and arson and torched cars.
    Bombs. pretty rare in the US. Will Biden commute the Tsarnaev death sentence? (Boston Marathon 2013). WaPo thinks he should.
    mobs and gangs. They are organized; their victims are not.
    It starts small. It has already started. Only those paying attention have noticed.

    Extinction Rebellion — traffic blockades

    Who controls the swamp, the schools, the media, the laws, the voting?
    It won’t be easy to fight them. Just sayin’

  36. H.R. says:

    Oh! Oh! YMMV.

    We saw a couger (mountain lion) slink across our back property line Tuesday, a week ago!

    It was following the traditional deer trace that goes along our back property line, then cut down between our house and the neighbor’s house and off into our neighborhood. Amazing!

    Mrs. H.R. and I saw one only one other time. We were at a farm-county fair ground for a political rally about 10 years ago. It was a small venue, it held about 3,500 people max and it wasn’t full, but the hardpan parking lot was pretty full, so we sat and waited for the cars to clear out a bit. Straight ahead at the perimeter fence about 100 yards away we saw the mountain lion. At first sight, we thought it was a coyote, but after it crept/slunk along 10 or 20 feet, it was clear it was feline and the tail was unmistakably not a coyote’s tail.

    It worked its way to the end of the fence line and then started up the the line running parallel to the side of our car. It was closer, but still about 80 yards away. Yup. Mountain lion. Then it hopped the fence into the back yard of a house in a small development that abutted the fair ground on that side. We figured anyone home there that was looking was in for a BIG surprise.

    When we got home, I looked online and found that indeed, mountain lions would wander into our State with several sightings some years, probably the same cat sighted multiple times, and other years no reports at all. They really don’t live in our State, but they tour it every now and then.

    So, I wasn’t in disbelief when we saw the one last Tuesday since I knew that they did wander through on rare occasion and we had seen one once before. And since we live adjacent to a State park with a total area of about 6 or 7 thousand acres of reservoir, lots of woods, and some fields gone to brush, it was not completely mystifying why the cat would choose to hang out in our area on its way to wherever.

    I’m hoping we’ll get another sighting, but I doubt it. There’s plenty of easy meals around so I imagine it will check out the larger territory for a while in good health and with a full tummy and move on after a bit.

    It might be looking for a mate and has just wandered into the wrong zip code for ever finding another mountain lion.

    If we spot baby mountain lions next Spring… uh-oh!

  37. Foyle says:

    Chinese are not such a major long term threat owing to their already baked-in demographic collapse. Their official population numbers have been lies for 20 years (revealed by billion person Shanghai police data leak), in reality they have less than 1/3rd number of 5 year olds as 50 year olds, and still falling. Their child bearing population is dropping precipitously, overall population is falling, and working age pop is years past peak, and of course 10-20% excess young men due to selective abortion doesn’t help. Their property based economy will collapse and in a couple of decades each retiree will only have 1.5 non-retirees to support them. Here is a US based Chinese researcher on this:

  38. H.R. says:

    Oh, that was u.k.(us) that brought up the big cats. Sorry.

    BTW, I never looked for where they, they being our State biologists at our Wildlife Dept. I suppose, think the occasional mountain lion comes from. I have no Idea.

  39. E.M.Smith says:

    Per Cougar / Puma / Mountain Lions:

    Yup, they are spreading out and numbers are going up. In the “local” news when I was living in California, they had an article about pets “going missing” in / near Sacramento (State Capitol) and another batch near San Francisco. They recommended not leaving your snack pet out in the back yard, especially at night and especially not tied on a chunk of floss leash.

    Folks were also informed that small children and infants were “prey sized” items…

    There’s also been some sporadic loss of small farm animals. Folks with goats et. al.

    One lady was out hiking / jogging on a path behind Stanford U. and was pounced on from a puma in a tree… confirming they had moved into the suburbs of the Peninsula. Some folks had asserted that crossing the various freeways to get there would prevent them arriving. They were wrong.

    It will be interesting watching folks come to grips with the fact that they are just another prey item to these big cats. How many dogs, fluffy kitty cats, and the occasional small child as snack before “Top Predator” meaning sinks in? I don’t know… But the ‘experiment’ is underway in California.

    It will also be interesting to see how light gear camping and backpacking as sport develop in a place that pretty much bans carry or use of a firearm; as the cats discover the food trail… (“self defense” does not exempt you from the laws banning shooting a cougar…)

    This will be spreading to other States over time:

    The results reveal 178 cougar confirmations in the Midwest with the number of confirmations steadily increasing between 1990 and 2008. Approximately 62% of confirmed sightings took place within 20km of habitat that would be considered suitable for cougar populations.

    When cougar carcasses were recovered 76% were found to be male. As the Connecticut example shows, males are capable of traveling long distances and this finding suggests males are leading a stepping-stone dispersal of the cougar population.

    Cougars are re-populating their historical range, new study confirms
    June 14, 2012
    American mountain lions, or cougars, are re-emerging in areas of the United States, reversing 100 years of decline. The evidence raises new conservation questions, such as how humans can live alongside the returning predators.

    Full story:

    American mountain lions, or cougars, are re-emerging in areas of the United States, reversing 100 years of decline. The evidence, published in The Journal of Wildlife Management, raises new conservation questions, such as how humans can live alongside the returning predators.

    “The cougar population declined dramatically from 1900, due to both hunting, and a lack of prey, leaving the remaining population isolated to the American west,” said Michelle LaRue from the University of Minnesota. “Here we present the hard evidence that the western population has spread, with cougar populations re-establishing across the Midwest.”

    Three main cougar populations exist in the Midwest centered around The Black Hills in South Dakota, however, cougars are venturing far outside of this range. One male cougar from the Black Hills was found to have traveled 2,900 kilometers through Minnesota, Wisconsin and New York, before ending up in Connecticut.

    “While the distance the Connecticut cougar traveled was rare, we found that cougars are roaming long distances and are moving back into portions of their historical range across the Midwest ”, said LaRue. “Our study took in over 3,200,000 km² of territory, confirming the presence of Cougars from Texas, Arkansas and Nebraska, to the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba.”

    Right now the general attitude is that it is worth it to lose a few pets, farm animals, and one supposes the occasional small child; for the return of these (admittedly majestic) animals to their prior range. I expect at some point the numbers game will “adjust” that understanding…

  40. E.M.Smith says:

    @u.k. (us):

    Gators on land are not much of an issue. Generally fairly slow and awkward. Folks can catch them just by grabbing the tail and pulling them backward. (Big folks with experience vs smaller sized gators…)

    The problem comes in at the water’s edge. They are ambush predators that lurk under the water near the shore watching for a prey item to get a drink… One couple learned this the very hard way when they went “trolling” with their child walking in the water on the “gator side”…

    So no need for an armored car. Any car will do. Or just don’t sit on the bank with your feet hanging over the water or splashing in it (as a lady learned “the hard way” under a shade tree at one canal…)

    Don’t act like food and you are pretty much OK.

    Cougar / Puma / Mountain Lion are a different matter. They can take an adult human, but mostly like to hunt at dawn / dusk or night. Be careful under trees then… For now, they like to pounce from above and / or behind. It will be “interesting” when they discover the “sleeping bag burrito” has a tasty filling… Most of them seem to prefer prey under 100 lbs. One was found stalking “observing” a biking trail in Southern California, and so got relocated to the mountains “hundreds of miles away”… but that one that “wandered in to Connecticut” from several States away implies the relocation strategy is suspect….

    For now, most Florida Puma are down near the everglades. One hopes they develop a fondness for snake meat… (LARGE snakes have established a territory there… we’re talking 18 foot long 215 pound big…)

    (CNN)She’s massive, invasive and covered in scales: A record breaking 215-pound, 18-foot-long Burmese python has been captured in Florida.

    The python is the heaviest ever captured in the state, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida announced on Wednesday.

    The huge reptile was captured by the conservancy as part of its invasive Burmese python research program.

    Biologists found the female by tracking a male “scout snake” named Dionysus with a radio transmitter. Males are attracted to the largest females, according to the conservancy. So by following a breeding male like Dionysus, they can find and remove large breeding females and their eggs.

    Talk about looking for love in all the wrong places…

    But I’d rather run into a 215 pound gator on land than a python of that size…

    But I’m just above the Frost Line so they ought to not make it this far north. Though if you believe the Global Warming Crap and that things will stop freezing in 2100:

    But I’m not going to worry about that…

  41. E.M.Smith says:


    One of my cast iron skillets: I found in the back yard, buried in the dirt, when I was about 4 years old. (who else would be digging in the dirt…) Dad cleaned it up, re-seasoned it, and I inherited it sometime around 1990. I expect to give it to my Son or Grandkids someday…

    I did some digging on the design and I *think* it is a Lodge from about 1950 to 1956. Probably spent no more than a year or two in the dirt and was likely left when the prior folks moved out of the house my Dad had just rented some months before. Try that with an aluminum Teflon wonder…

  42. H.R. says:

    Ah, so that big kitty was most likely a male looking for some nookie.

    Mrs. H.R. and I are probably one of the few fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time in our State… twice!

    Thanks for the map E.M. That report of the one critter that went cross country means that, unless it was a tagged cat, there is no telling where it came from in the West.

  43. u.k.(us) says:

    Armadillos have grown a suit of armor, gotta wonder why :)

  44. u.k.(us) says:

    Just an FYI.

    ” Panthers usually kill large prey by a bite to the back of the neck severing the spinal cord. Sometimes the animal is killed by a suffocating bite to the throat.”

  45. cdquarles says:

    Speaking of armadillos, they walked across river bridges and are now local pests. They are among the most common road kill locally and the buzzards love it.

  46. John Hultquist says:

    Joe Bastardi thinks you might see a hurricane or 2 or 3 this year.

  47. Taz says:

    “Any suggestions / horror stories about either Spectrum or Frontier appreciated as I’m basically clueless about both of them.”

    Have used both. Basically interchangeable incompetent 21st century telcos. Your single possible differentiator? Find out if Frontier can provide an old school copper Pots line, then make sure they still have generators for the central office you connect to. Frontier got itself into trouble in California when they ripped those generators out and all emergency communications ceased during their fire emergency.

    You need copper Pots in Florida powered by the central office. Don’t let them talk you into a fiber connection for phone service. Then the power backup responsibility is yours. Any central office will power POTS service for a week. Never forget that almost ALL cellsites are required to stay up for only 4 hrs during emergencies. AT&T is the only exception because they are the nation’s Firstnet provider. AT&T also maintains trained technical staff in Florida (Verizon doesn’t). I say this as one mad as hell at AT&T – but not stupid enough to switch from them. We rely on old school POTS but foolishly allowed the fiber upgrade (YOU get to buy the generator when you do that). Cellular service is only channel bonded AT&T and Tmobile (simultaneous connection). Takes mega cheap shopping to get the cost down :(

    Florida is probably THE most vulnerable state to natural emergencies, and the state’s communications fails EVERY time. NOTHING is ever done about it.

    BTW, you don’t need your cellular carriers for network switching. Nor do you need their Voice over LTE . Find yourself a good VOIP seller who uses Twilio as their backbone. Then use conventional secure VOIP over cellular data. Your phone will be very omnivorous, and Twilio’s resilience will put any carrier to shame. In short, you’ll be well armed when the emergency f_ery comes. If they park a wifi drone over your destroyed neighborhood – everything would still work.

    Never trust the telcos.

  48. rhoda klapp says:

    Just give me half a chance to quote Kipling, the other RK..

    I’ve never seen a Jaguar,
    Nor yet an Armadill
    O dilloing in his armour,
    And I s’pose I never will,

    Seen plenty of the flat kind sunbathing by the roadside in TX, although more in the 90s than my 2014-17 stay.

  49. another ian says:


    Armadillo (tatu) is a delicacy in NE Brasil.

    Fairly oily, I was warned of laxative effects if you consume enthusiastically

  50. The True Nolan says:

    @rhoda k: “Seen plenty of the flat kind sunbathing by the roadside in TX, ”

    They used to be called “possum on the half shell” in the poor south. I have heard they carry a lot of diseases, including leprosy, but that is apparently NOT true.

  51. E.M.Smith says:

    Armadillo have a predator escape behavior of “jumping up” when startled.

    This does not work well when startled by a truck passing overhead. Then they jump up and hit the underside of a 70 MPH steel truck and get killed. Later flattened by others…

    As this behavior was selected for vs predation for thousands of years, don’t expect it to end soon.


    Modified your F-bomb to get the telco comment out of trash…

    FWIW, we have not had any land lines for about 20 years, and don’t expect to get one here. I’m generally of the self reliant form in emergencies… I have thought of trying out Starlink though…

    I’m in a semi-suburbs area and in a place that’s not had a hurricane in something like 100 years (though plenty of TS and some near misses) so mostly expect things to survive. Oh, and anything that looks remotely like a hurricane coming our way, we’ll take a “long weekend” vacation in another State…

  52. rhoda klapp says:

    Which reminds me that my niece from Naples Fl was unable to get out of the state a couple of hurricanes back because it’s too far on a tank of gas and couldn’t find any place to refuel. Had to hunker down in the car somewhere around Tallahassee. How’s that gonna work with EVs?

  53. H.R. says:

    @rhoda k – We are looking to become Florida residents. Currently, we are ‘damn Yankees’ that Winter in Florida. We want to reverse that and be Floridians with a summer place in the North.

    One reason I bought that diesel truck was for its range. Of course, the truck was all about towing a trailer, but I did consider that it’s a great hurricane bugout vehicle.

    Max practical range when empty is about 900 miles. Loading the back of the crew cab and bed with “things that must be saved” cuts the range to about 700 miles. Towing the trailer cuts the range to about 500 miles. Any of those cases still gives us enough range to get out of the way of a hurricane. I can also add an auxiliary tank in the bed for another 500 miles of range if I think there’s a need.

    It wasn’t the primary consideration, but the fact that the truck makes a good bugout vehicle just made the purchase a little more satisfying.

    Uhhh… all of this is assuming Brandon’s Bureaucratic Baddies don’t make diesel fuel totally unavailable.

  54. jim2 says:

    “How’s that gonna work with EVs?” You will have to add a diesel generator to your payload.

  55. Ossqss says:

    RE: Armadillos

    I have trapped or caught dozens of Dillo’s over the years. One thing you will not want to do it toss a net over them, unless it is disposable. They will shred it.

    I have typically used a Have A Heart medium sized trap, but the big boys will bust out of that in many instances. They are very powerful and can jump straight up several feet when threatened.

    We had an infestation of Dillo’s some 15 or so years back in my neighborhood. I suspect the degradation (hunting) of the only real predator that would eat them, the Coyotes, was the cause. Gators would eat them if in the water, but that is rare. They did so much damage to everyone’s yard, the neighbors became a rabid hoard chasing them around with every implement possible from pitchforks to harpoons.

    Ultimately, we found a good, coordinated, method to capture them. We (about a dozen of us together) would surround and chase the Dillo into the culverts under the driveways. That was their means of escape until we adapted.

    The culverts were roughly 18″ wide and 12-15′ or so long. I had adapted a push broom with a 10′ section of PVC pipe to allow us to push them right out of the culvert. There was a garbage can at the other end, and they always ran right into it, and we trapped them and relocated them accordingly. The neighborhood on the other side of the overpass did not appreciate our efforts :-)

    As far as eating them, nope, not gonna do it for any reason.

    As far as Hansen’s disease, you decide?

  56. rhoda klapp says:

    ” the neighbors became a rabid hoard ”

    Well, maybe the Busch lite has something to do with that..

  57. philjourdan says:

    Update on Spectrum – it may just be a scammer, but I get a lot of calls saying I can cut my spectrum cost ibn half (it goes to VM as I do not recognize the number). I have never had a spectrum account! So I know it is a scam (not even sure they are here in VA).

  58. philjourdan says:

    Uh HR – Re: Chinese military defending woke Americans

    I never said that. I would not dream of saying that. Please stick to what I say.

  59. cdquarles says:

    That definitely sounds like a scam. I do have Spectrum and they never say they can cut my bill in half. They do say that they may be able to shave the bill some other provider’s service costs; but even then, only for a limited time and they do expect you to pay full price after the incentives end. They do want to ‘upsell’ me on some of the other services, but even if they threw TV free forever, there’s nothing on TV I want to watch. Their mobile service isn’t really cheaper than any other (likely state/local regulations).

  60. Ossqss says:

    @rhoda, well, you seem to forget the neighbors will not touch Busch light and that is the primary reason I drink it :-)

  61. philjourdan says:

    @HR – re Cougar

    I saw a coyote walking down the road 3 months ago. Then 4 week old kittens came out of the nest (and my kind hearted wife named them). But we are in suburbia! And now have a cat XPLOSION

    These latest are the grandkids of the feral mother we finally caught and got fixed. But we missed 3 of her offspring. 1 male and 2 females. We think this was from the female from the 2nd litter we missed. That the kittens were wandering at 4 weeks indicate the Coyote got her,

  62. H.R. says:

    @rhoda (and Ossqss) – I still think firewater, lots of firewater, was involved in there somewhere.

    @Ossqss – Since nobody will go near Busch Light, why didn’t you just sprinkle some around the perimeter of your property?

  63. H.R. says:

    @philjourdan: Somehow, I must have misinterpreted this (4 August 2022 at 12:13 am). My apologies.

    “It is coming to that. But the left is doomed unless they use The Biden connection. Because those idiots can only kill defenseless individuals.

    But the sell out bidens will protect you with the Chinese military.”

    That’s what brought up the imagery and possibility of Chinese troops on US soil that I wrote about, courtesy of the Bidens and all of the others in China’s pocket,

  64. Ossqss says:

    For the record, the Spectrum mobile is actually $29.99 including all taxes and fees and unlimited everything from what I see. I double checked, and since I have their home service, it would be automatic. That will save me about $64 a month while keeping the same service for 4 phones.

    No BS.

  65. Phil Salmon says:

    Geopolitical update – in response to Pelosi’s Taiwan visit China have thrown their toys out of the pram and stopped collaborating with the US on issues such as security and climate change. It’s a big deal apparently. What I’m wondering is how much this will accelerate their assistance to Russia in the Ukraine war. Also what other unpredictable outcomes it could feed into an already unstable global situation.

  66. E.M.Smith says:

    @Phil Salmon:

    Nice description. I’ve often wondered about the CCP tendency to emotional tantrums over petty nonsense. Then again most stuff done by politicians impresses me as petty and nonsense…

    Look, she was just going to check on the NVIDIA facilities since “hubby” had bought a big chunk on insider information. At most she would be making sure their 10% Vigorish “for the big guy” got appropriated and sent from the US Defense Aid….

    Saw an interesting idea about how China could “retaliate” (for an idiot on a $90 Million plane ride…) It was that China could stop selling us Rare Earths, hobbling our Green Transition. (Why am I feeling increasingly hostile toward the word “transition”?… Hmmm….. ) Well, I’m all for it! You Go China! Cut off the Rare Earths, the solar panels, the windmill parts, the whole shebang. Bring those WEFy Globalist Boondoggles to their knees!

    Per Spectrum & Internet:

    We’ve bought a package and had it installed. Keeping our old cell phone providers (at least for now) partly just because I don’t want all that information in one company’s hands… So far service has been quite good. Next Up I get to start setting up my normal computer infrastructure. About the same time the beds are set up… Yes, I’ve been sleeping on the equivalent of a Pool Lounge Chair / Air Bed… but now the Real Beds ™ have arrived. To be assembled and first use today 8-)

    Let’s see… 1st priority internet / networking, 2nd set up computer lab, 3rd a real bed to sleep in?

    (In reality, that was just the providers schedules or we’d have had the beds day one…)

    Still have a fair number of GB of “Hotspot Data”, but using mostly the house network now.


    Just south of San Jose was the little crossroads stop of Coyote Valley… At night you could hear them howling all over the hills. Then suburbs spread out even more… Local news had reports of packs of Coyote wandering the city streets… Video of them hunting in the suburbs… warnings not to leave pets out at night…

    The same edge ‘burbs also had feral pigs tearing up their lawns and bushes… One new Golf Course was having major troubles…

    Amusing to watch City Folks deal with Country Issues… in a place that defines “evil” as “gun”… so could not consider the idea of shooting or poison. Even tranquilizer guns and trapping had nutbars protesting. ( I think they finally did dead-of-night trapping without reporting on it…)

    So Far, here, the only critter I’ve seen in the yard is a little Grey Squirrel with a very white chest and belly. A few birds of type I don’t know have visited, but don’t seem resident. Still waiting for a Sandhill Crane to arrive… The neighbors have dogs, so don’t expect a lot of wildlife roaming…

  67. philjourdan says:

    @EMS – our saving grace is the fact the the woke are idiots!

    Wild animals do not respect woke politics

  68. Ossqss says:

    “I don’t want all that information in one company’s hands…”

    It already is, but it’s not a company. :-)

  69. The True Nolan says:

    Looks like Pelosi’s son has shown up in a couple photos from the Taiwan trip, traveling along with mama. Didn’t he also gave a Ukrainian gas company position, just like Hunter Biden? Maybe son Paul Pelosi is in Taiwan to get 10% for the Big Gal.

  70. E.M.Smith says:


    That was my view of the trip even before the kid was shown. The corrupt DNC / Dimocrats like to “negotiate” their cut of the action in person. Easier to pick up that briefcase of diamonds that way… and bring it back in a diplomatic pouch…


    I know, but at least it limits it to The Government(s) and requires a data extraction & movement and matching step… When it’s all in the hands of the one corporation, it becomes just a database lookup and they can sell the whole package to everyone…

    Also, given my “rotate the shields” behaviour, there’s occasional gaps and dropouts; along with a messy database merge ;-)

    One example? My internet usage over the last 4 months is spread over 3 carriers in 2 places 50 miles apart… Oh, and on 3 different platforms.

    Next month it will be over a couple of hot spots, some in other States, and on 2 more devices as I set up my lab. Somewhere in the middle of that, I’m planning to add in 2 VPNs…

    Sure, the NSA can “get it all”… but the cost is higher and it isn’t all just sitting in one file at AT&T… Plus, unless they are very good and determined, they will miss chunks of it. A new Pi image on a new burner phone as hot spot, for example, isn’t fingered to me; and it takes months of use to have enough info from things like location and sites contacted – i.e. errors on my part in keeping it pristine – for there to be enough to presume it is likely me.

    From what I can tell, the folks who want to sell me a new car battery for the next 6 months; after I did some battery lookup / search, are not that good nor that determined. At a minimum, this dodges a lot of SPAM.

    @Per The House:

    Well, at long last, ALL my “Florida Stuff” and all of the cars in Florida are all at one place: Home.

    “All” that is left to do is move stored stuff from California AND get my Subaru from the shop in California, to here. (Perhaps a camping trip?) Also my 240 D will be getting spruced up (paint, primp the interior, etc.) for about a year, then I’ll retrieve it from the shop too.

    We are firmly in the simplification stage and no longer in the complicating options process.

    One nice example:

    I’d bought a fancy recliner for the Spouse and she was sleeping in it (very well too… has a zero gravity posture setting ;-) I had bought a “pool lounge chair” cot like thing, and got a queen sized air bed. Tried both. OK but “with issues”.

    Well, last night was our first night on the new highly adjustable very nice bed. It is 2 separately motorized twin beds that can be joined into a single King Sized Bed (but with separate position controls). We both zonked out early and slept in late. This is a big keeper and a big step forward in the old lifestyle department !

    Slowly the house is coming together. We’ve started replacing some of the ersatz & temporary things with the final & good things ;-)

    It is coming together nicely.

    Still need to get a BBQ and a desk would be nice… but that can wait a bit longer. At least now I can get a good night sleep and have killer naps 8-)

  71. philjourdan says:

    @EMS – the wife and I have had the Adjustable part for a few years, but not the top part (so if I raise my side, she is sleeping on a slant). Until we paid BIG (and I mean BIG) bucks for the purple mattress that had the option of the separate tops So she is finally happy (until she brought 4 4 week old kittens into the room!!!!), and so am I.

  72. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; It seems I can offer you no joy on your move.
    Based on your guess of cubic feet and weight and road distance. we come up with weight and volume that offers no good news. Our guess is that you probable solution is DYI over 2 or more trips with a 26 foot high cube van. but that seems a poor choice as it will weight out before it is well loaded
    .U-haul says for the 26ft max load 12,859 pounds 1682 cu. ft and it looks like it is nearly 3400 miles one way.OMG ! with about $5000 truck expenses plus driver expenses.
    Man are you sure that you really need all that stiff in your new life…….Lol.
    If some enlightenment that changes this I’ll let you know.
    Glad you are getting comfortable in your new digs.. 8-)

  73. E.M.Smith says:


    Well, thanks for asking around.

    I’m presently planning a first run with a 20′ truck (since it is weight limited anyway) and a station wagon load. Then will re-asses after that.

    Unfortunately, my Tow Vehicle has been at the Mercedes Dealer for 3 days now without even a peep about how much to fix it. (Usually you get an estimate same day or next day latest…) so I think it’s out of the process.

    I’ll be doing “what’s most important first” so defacto not moving the less interesting bits in this run. I’ll also be doing a bit of an inventory on what’s being left for “round 2” with an eye to maybe not moving it (or leaving it in storage for a bunch more months… for opportunistic moving some of it when visiting family…)

    Unfortunately, I’ve already jettisoned a lot of the stuff that was not so interesting or where logistics made it difficult. Big desk, 2 beds, Small fridge & freezer, couch & love seat, shelving unit / headboard, roto-tiller, mower, kayak, workbench, 8 foot wood shelving unit I’d made, kerosene stove, etc. etc.

    Most of what’s kept are personally important in some way. Records (business & personal), seed archive (though with time and heat may be moot), and a huge collection of books that I’d not want to abandon as many are no longer available (and may be needed…). Then things like my Kitchen Aid mixer (about $300…), TV sets ($400), Bike (more $$$), and such. My Mom’s dining table… My canonical collection of tools…

    I’d basically set a $/cu-ft metric (estimated) on moving things and most stuff had to meet that level to be boxed up at all.

    But whatever. Gas is coming down a little, so there’s that.

  74. philjourdan says:

    @p.g. – I am impressed! Did all of that calculating off the cuff? I do admire those that do it. My oldest likes to brag that she graduated higher in her class than I did (I was top 5%, she was top 1%). Yet she whined up a storm when she had to take a math test without her graphing calculator (that was in the late 90s, before smart phones). I just laughed – I got my first “kakalator” as a graduation present from High school. It did the 4 basic functions and percentages. And that was all!

  75. jim2 says:

    I thought maybe a root cellar, but apparently those don’t fly in Florida.

    How do you preserve food in a warm climate without a root cellar?

    I got this comment recently on the sweet potato survival plant profile page:

    Being only years in Florida, storage of food has been difficult…potatoes, onions, squash and now I have sweet potatoes growing. Any tips for storing these guys?? -Chris

    You bet. Here are three tips for storing produce without a root cellar.

  76. p.g.sharrow says:

    @philjourdan; I can not take credit for other’s work, I sicked my nephew on it as a test. So he did the leg work of finding out the information. I just put it together to present it. I once did trucking ( early 1970s ) He is up to date on those things as he sometimes drives for ranchers.
    I learned to be the calculator back in the days of paper and pencil and later “slip stick” so back of envelope estimations was the normal way of doing things. In my family I was considered retarded because of a learning disability, so my siblings got collage while so I was trained to be farm labor and handyman.. LOL, those collage boys didn’t know what to do with a farm boy that could mentally run circles around them while being a klutz with the written word.
    I greatly enjoy the conversation here with our collection of “Wise Men” & women ! and hope my sometimes hard to read musings add to the exchange.

  77. The True Nolan says:

    @philjpurdan: “I got my first “kakalator” as a graduation present from High school. It did the 4 basic functions and percentages. And that was all!”

    Similar story here. Got my first calculator about 1975. Used a slide rule before that. Calculator was just the 4 functions and my brother bought it for me as a birthday present. There had recently been a BIG price drop and they were down to ONLY $35! The salesman assured my brother that they would NEVER get any cheaper than that. :)

    (That $35 in 1975? Even using the official (fraudulently understated) inflation figures that works out to about $200 in 2022.)

  78. p.g.sharrow says:

    As to the need of a “root cellar” many things will Rot in a root cellar. Too damp! Sweet Potatoes and Winter Squash require cool and DRY to be stored . Root Cellars are supposed to be damp for things like beets and potatoes that require cool and damp to sleep. Canning works well but is costly in time and equipment. I store Sweet Potatoes and Squash in a box under the bed, A bit too warm, a dry cellar under the house would be better, or on the floor in a pantry.

  79. philjourdan says:

    @Jim2 – Re: Root cellars – sure they do! They are called in ground swimming pools! :-)

  80. philjourdan says:

    @P.G. – Today we understand that as Autistic in some way. Which means you are a Rain Man. Normal in most ways, and a genius in one way! Almost all Autistics function normally in society when not under stress. And excel in one way or another, So you do as well from what I see.

    Still, I try to do every day what you did with the numbers. Perhaps I am autistic, but more likely I am just a Math savant that seeks ways to keep his knowledge fresh without having to go to a “kakalator” (for those wondering on the spelling, check out Boss Hogg on the Dukes of Hazard).

    I keep my math sharp by doing square roots of 3 and 4 digit numbers to the first decimal place off the top of my head. So I guess I am either autistic, or obsessive compulsive!

  81. philjourdan says:

    @TTN – I guess I am a year ahead of you~ I graduated in 74. But yep on all the rest! It helped me in college, but not a lot. I was a math major so was into imaginary numbers by the Soph year!

    Guess we chewed the same turf! Moody Blues, Led Zepplin, and of course the Beatles and Stones,

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